The Art Fund takes Queen and Country on tour
This week sees the start of The Art Fund's tour of Queen and Country, the artwork created by Turner Prize winner and official war artist Steve McQueen to commemorate British servicemen and women who have lost their lives in the conflict in Iraq.
The work, made in collaboration with 137 families whose loved ones have lost their lives in Iraq, consists of a cabinet containing a series of facsimile postage sheets each one dedicated to a member of the armed forces killed in Iraq. The artist hopes that an official set of stamps will eventually be issued by Royal Mail.
Until 1st June the work can be seen at the Southbank Centre in the Royal Festival Hall, which is programming a series of projects that highlight the social and political importance of artists, and the power of art to influence communities.
It will then be exhibited at the Barbican Centre from 4th June - 27th July, where it will coincide with the National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch, the award winning play based on interviews with former soldiers who served in Iraq.
Louise Jeffreys, Head of Theatre at Barbican, said: “We are proud to bring Queen and Country to the Barbican to run alongside the National Theatre of Scotland’s award winning production Black Watch. These highly evocative creative responses to the Iraq conflict illustrate powerfully the immense personal cost to those involved. We are pleased that we can offer audiences the opportunity to see this poignant exhibition and magnificent performance together.”
Further venues around the country will be announced shortly. Admission will be free at all venues, and visitors will be invited to take part in Steve McQueen’s vision and sign The Art Fund’s online petition asking the Royal Mail to issue the stamps.
For details and updates on tour dates and venues and to sign the petition visit www.artfund.org/queenandcountry.
Queen and Country is part of the Imperial War Museum’s permanent collection, following its presentation by The Art Fund in November 2007 with a full grant of £60,000.
Notes to editors
1. The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art.
2. It is entirely funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped museums and galleries all over the UK secure 860,000 works of art for their collections.
3. Recent achievements include: helping secure Anthony d’Offay’s collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and National Galleries of Scotland in February 2008 with a grant of £1million; putting together a unique funding package to ensure Dumfries House in Ayrshire and its contents were secured intact for the nation in July 2007; and running the ‘Buy a Brushstroke’ public appeal which raised over £550,000 to keep Turner’s Blue Rigi watercolour in the UK.
4. For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit www.artfund.org